Dell Inspiron has no CD drive and I have formatted hard drive

By donclarke77
Oct 31, 2009
  1. I suggested a friend's old P3 Dell Inspiron may be quicker running Ubunto. I repartioned and formatted the hard drive before realising there was no CD player. How do I now reinstall an OS? The hard drive connection is not the same as my Dell Lattitude so I can't swop drives. I've tried USB supporting boot disks but still can't access USB devices. Is there any other way to install Ubunto or other OS?
    I've tried Duse boot and an Iomega version. USB is assigned a drive letter but when I run DOSUSB.COM (part of the booting routine) the system hangs.
    How do I restore the machine?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Ubuntu is an excellent free operating system
    But you removed the Partition? How did you remove it? With a floppy disk? because that would seem very strange :confused:

    Obviously No.1 is to get a working CD or DVD Drive installed (he'll probably need it for other stuff too ;))
    And then >> chat with Dell to see if you can get the Windows Recovery Disc from them (although "P3" is very doubtful that it exists)
  3. donclarke77

    donclarke77 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I started the computer with a Win98 boot disk and ran fdisk to delete the partition. I was advised that Ubunto required a 'clean' install and it is the procedure I would use normally to upgrade an OS.
    The Inspiron 4000 does not have a CD docking slot hence the need to access the USB port in DOS. I hope to be able to do this with one of the few DOSUSB drivers on the net but I can't get any to work so I'm asking for help - please!
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    The spelling is Ubuntu, with a U at the end
    The fact that you are not sure on its spelling concerns me that you may be unsure of its use in general
    Ubuntu can be used as a live BootCD (obviously if your CD Drive worked)
    So really there's no need to begin with to remove your partition

    This laptop being very old, you are likely not interested in purchasing, really anything, for it

    But, you can still purchase the >> Dell CD-RW/DVD-ROM if you so desired (probably even eBay has one available somewhere

    I really think that you are best to get a working drive, that way you don't have to mess with Fat32 (instead of NTFS) Dos boot disks with CDRom support (for then installing an Operating system, with an external USB1.1 (old) connected drive

    Otherwise pls throw away :D
  5. donclarke77

    donclarke77 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    whether there is a 'u' or an 'o' on the end of Ubuntu is imaterial to my problem. The laptop in question is a very old P3 Dell and is not used as a 'regular' machine. It is far to old to layout the cost of a DVD or CD drive - the money would better be spent on ram (should that be capitals?) I made a mistake and I am trying to put it right. I am conversant with Ubotno on a laptop and like it's lack of hunger for resources, ram and disk space.
    I have found a program that will enable me to access USB drive(s) in DOS. Further help from a Ubunto site explains how to install Ubunto from USB drives. I will pass on information if successful.
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